I’m so excited to introduce you to a brand new contributor! I’m thrilled to have Julie on board from Salt Water Fit! Julie is an internationally recognized fitness & nutrition coach, personal trainer, and the co-creator of her company. She specializes in working with smart & successful professional women who want to create a fit & sustainable lifestyle that they love, even with their demanding careers. I think she is going to be an incredibly valuable resource to this community and hope you enjoy her insight as much as I do! Welcome Julie!
I am super stoked to be contributing to Eat, Drink, and Be Skinny. This is my first post and I couldn’t be more excited to connect with you all.
First off, I must admit something. I’ve always liked running, but didn’t fall in love with it until I moved to the beach in Costa Rica. Ha! Now I am spoiled with beautiful ocean views and glorious mountain expanses.
Living here has also exposed me to more ways to make running fun. At one point in my life, running was something I did on a treadmill. But now, of course, I realize how awesome it is to run in the sand, through the jungle, or up the face of a mountain. There are even moon lit trail races through the jungle you can participate in here, making running very easy to fall in love with ;). (If you want to learn more check out The Moon Run.)
From this love affair, I’ve expanded my running repertoire to include beach sprinting, trail runs, beach cruising, and hill climbs. All of which has demanded me to become a fitter and smarter runner.
In my quest to improve, I’ve discovered the best way to support my body in all of these terrains comes from glute training or what I like to call, strengthening my backside.
Over time, I’ve learned that strong and powerful glutes are essential for every runner, but also vital to a healthy and injury free life. I’m so excited by how it’s changed my running that I want to share – what I have deemed the 3 P’s – 3 reasons why runners should train their glutes. I’ll explain each in a little more detail.
Strong glutes will protect you from pain and injury.
Having a strong and stable pelvis (hip bone) is fundamental to good spinal health, proper movement patterns, and avoiding back pain and injury. The best way to protect and stabilize your pelvis is by having strong glutes.
When the glutes are weak or turned off, the joints around the hips, namely the lower back and the knee can take on a lot more stress. Left unchecked over time, this can lead to pain or even worse injury in those areas. If you suffer from lower back pain or knee pain, it’s always a good idea to make sure your glutes are strong.
Unfortunately, flat surface running or jogging doesn’t activate the glutes that much. Therefore, in order to strengthen this area you need to proactively train your glutes with exercises like deadlifts, squats, lunges, and hip thrusts. Done with the correct form and with weights, those exercises will provide the strength in your glutes to prevent injury. (VIDEO: Glute Focused Workout Coming Next Post)
Strong glutes will help you run faster.
Often times runners believe the power in their stride comes from their calves and quads. And although they do play a role, it is minor compared to the role of your glute and hamstring muscles.
When you run, especially at higher speeds and at an incline, the power of your stride comes from hip extension. Hip extension is the act of driving your entire leg backward after it hits the ground. The glutes are the main muscle responsible for hip extension so the stronger your glutes, the more powerful your stride becomes.
Strong Glutes Will Help Increase Your Metabolism
The glutes are the largest muscle group in the body, isn’t that cool? So strengthening them not only creates functional strength for running and life, but also increases your metabolism.
Muscle is a more metabolically active tissue than fat, meaning it requires more energy to sustain itself. Therefore the more muscle you have the higher your caloric expenditure is each day, increasing your metabolism.
In addition, when you train big muscle groups like the glutes you release various hormones into your body that help regulate blood sugar and promote fat burning in the body.
When you go running, you don’t normally activate these hormones. Combine this with healthy eating habits and you’ll be lean, strong, and running faster than ever. (If you need a resource for creating easy and tasty healthy meals, check out our Meal Prep Guide here).
So, are you ready to train those glutes? Join our FREE #Intense20 Exercise Challenge happening now if you want to get a start. Details here.
Julie is an internationally recognized fitness & nutrition coach, personal trainer, and the co-creator of Saltwater Fit - a fitness & lifestyle brand. She specializes in working with smart & successful professional women who want to create a fit & sustainable lifestyle that they love, even with their demanding careers. When she's not training her clients in person on the beach or coaching them via skype, you can find her in the ocean surfing. Julie is on a mission to help her clients discover their active passion - exercise that they truly enjoy - because it lays the foundation for a fit & healthy lifestyle that you can sustain forever. She'd love for you to drop her a line and say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org.